Free Markets, Free People

Romney offers states control and the ability to create jobs, the NY Times offers spin

But remember, they’re not biased.

What’s a good way to for the Federal government to begin the long road toward economic recovery?  Do something that creates incentives for businesses to hire and expand.

Here’s one, but look how it is spun by the NY Times:

By proposing to end a century of federal control over oil and gas drilling and coal mining on government lands, Mitt Romney is making a bid for anti-Washington voters in key Western states while dangling the promise of a big reward to major campaign supporters from the energy industry.

He’s “making a bid for anti-Washington voters in key western states”  while pandering to “Big Oil”.  That’s it?  That’s what this is all about?

State control isn’t really bidding for the anti-Washington vote as much as a return to “federal” government vs.a national or “unitary” government.  Here’s the point:

The federal government owns vast portions of states like New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Alaska. Under President Obama, officials in Washington have played a bigger role in drilling and mining decisions on federal lands in the states, and such involvement rankles many residents and energy executives, who prefer the usually lighter touch of local officials.

It owns more than “vast portions”, the federal government owns most of the West.  And when an administration like the Obama administration takes the angle on energy it has taken, it is free to block and slow walk oil and gas exploration while carpeting vast stretches of the West with marginally efficient solar and wind farms.

Most believe those sorts of decisions should not be left up to the neer-do-wells in Washington.  Those sorts of decisions should be left to the states and those who have to live with the DC decisions.  But they’re not.  And consequently you see the difference as reflected in the progress in North Dakota (where the decisions are made by the state and local government in conjunction with private property owners) and Nevada (which is 80% owned by the Federal government and where most decisions are  made in Washington).  North Dakota is booming.  Nevada is not.

Federico Peña, secretary of energy in the Clinton administration and now a co-chairman of Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign, said Mr. Romney’s plan would cause more problems for the oil and gas industry. “I cannot imagine a world in where there are 50 different kinds of rules and regulations for industry,” Mr. Peña said. “To see Balkanization of rules and regulation I think would drive the industry crazy.”

Really?  Seems the industry is handling it just fine in those states in which it is already happening.  And, my guess is they’re willing to endure it in those states where the Federal government now restricts exploration and drilling.

“It is a preposterously bad idea — we are talking about federal trust lands that belong to the whole nation,” said Bobby McEnaney, a senior aide at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group.

Because it would be impossible to sort out those lands which should actually be in a “federal trust” and “belong to the whole nation” vs. those included just “because”, huh Mr. McEnaney?

Here there is an opportunity to a) actually return to a bit of federalism and get the federal government out of making decisions states could make and b) create incentives that would lead to expansion of an industry, jobs, revenue for the federal government and produce more domestic oil and gas (which would effect the global price of those fuels).

Win-win, yet those possible outcomes are never mentioned by the NY Times.

Instead we get the “anti- Washington” (how dare the proles question their elite masters!) and “Big Oil” spin.

Some things never change.


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23 Responses to Romney offers states control and the ability to create jobs, the NY Times offers spin

  • A-FLUCKING-mazingly STOOOOOOOoooooopid reasoning on display!
    1. Oil and gas companies deal with regulations from EVERYWHERE, and do it successfully in places like the North Sea.  They already deal with 50 sets of state regs.
    2. The “trust lands” are held by the Federal government in violation of the Constitution, and Westerners know and deeply resent it.
    3. Since Clinton, the Feds have been growing MORE acquisitive in the West.
    4. Devolving power BACK to the states is right to do, rational to do, and legal to do.
    Romney is actually doing something pretty conservative with this proposal.  Kuhl.

    • What’s wrong wit chu?  That oil, gas, coal, wealth, belongs to the people of the sovereign state of New York, and California and what ever other big state’s constituents we’re buying off.  Just because the wealth happens to be IN Nevada, or Colorado, or North or South Dakota – nothing but damn flyover states that take more from the government than they contribute in taxes!  Those states are LUCKY. LUCKY I say! to be part of the US and if the government wants to hold some (err, a lot…) of their land (and resources) in trust, well, they should be grateful the government doesn’t take ALL their resources!

      • CA has oil. It doesn’t want it, however. Oil rigs are icky.

        • Right, they want the generators, the lines, the rigs, the windmills, the panels, to be NIMBY gear and they don’t mind if some other state hosts their facilities.

    • Ya know, it’s surprisingly easy to channel big government supporters.  Just go with the premise that everything belongs to the government (which YOU, the supporter, are a logical extension of when it comes to collecting and distributing the wealth of others) and your thinking will flow as a river to the sea.

      • Golly, looker, that was kind of poetic.  You had me a little misty there…

        • Must be warm water and cold air that’s doing that :).   Morning fog over the solar panel filled planes can be quite attractive, or wreathed around the foot of 400 foot wind turbines in the dawn sun.
          Reminds me of a Moorcock artwork for the Towers of Count Brass I had in college, only with big propellers of course.

      • As a river of what exactly?

  • Instead of South Dakota, I think you mean North Dakota. 

  • The NY Times is just coming off having it’s public ombudsman claim that, yes, it was a hive of Progressive thought only to have it’s Editor claim that it wasn’t.
    So today we are treated to another contrarian dish that has Romney giving a gift to Energy companies, while making it harder for them to operate.
    It’s one thing to offer two (or more) side to an argument, but it seems downright schizoid to take both sides yourself.

  • Allow me to explain the NYT’s logic to you: “We have nice-paying jobs that don’t involve oil or gas, so we don’t see why anyone else should have to have such miserable and polluting jobs.”
    As an aside, Canada recently passed legislation that oil and gas investments only had to pass one environmental impact review, either by their feds or the province, and it has to be done within 3 years I believe….shouldn’t the NYT be demanding sanctions or something?

  • Don’t worry it is just the death throes of the dinosaur media.

  • “It is a preposterously bad idea — we are talking about federal trust lands that belong to the whole nation,” said Bobby McEnaney, a senior aide at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group.

    I have this odd feeling that he cares about them belonging to the “whole nation” only so long as that impedes drilling. If that logic aided drilling, say the feds were pushing to drill and the state was saying “no”, my guess is he would be a big fan of states rights or local power.

    You see, I’m 49 and I’ve had enough dealings with the environmentalists, and I’m well aware of their actual goals and that they will use any argument to further their ends and ditch that argument like a used condom when it suits their purpose.

  • Also, this discussion reminds me of the Sagebrush Rebellion of the early 80s or late 70s.

  • What Romney *should* do once he’s in office is hand over all “federal” land to the states.  Unless there’s a military base phyically occupying land, there’s zero reason why the federal government should own any land whatsoever.  That includes national forests, which states are entirely capable of managing at least as well as the feds do.

    • Don’t disagree, but this would be a good first step. The government owns entirely too much of the US.

    • Could he do that without Congress?

      I’m thinking that the first priority should be getting rid of obamacare. Sure, they are easy things he can do off the bat, but the land thing would be a huge battle with the environmentalists, and the radical act of giving the land back to the states probably wouldn’t be popular with the mushy middle he needs if he is going to enact reforms on things like obamacare.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see that happen, I just see it as the wrong hill to fight on in 2013 or 14.

    • No, hand over only the federal parks to the states, sell all the other federal land to the people use the proceeds only to pay off debt.

  • The federal government should own NO land other than federal buildings and military bases. It should sell all of it’s other land and create a new homesteading boom.